Education is a fundamental right for everyone and key to the future of any country. Education has its price everywhere—but the only thing more expensive than investing in education is not investing in education. Inadequate education produces high costs for society in terms of public spending, crime, health, and poor economic growth. No country can afford to leave too many of its children behind and not to help them achieve the competencies needed for a self-fulfilled life and economic independence. There-in lies the opportunity for investor. Investing in Education is not only very profitable but gives a sense of moral duty.
Since 2015, Seychelles moved into the World Bank’s list of high income country. The GDP grew by more than 5% in 2017. There are currently only three private schools on Mahé and one on Praslin. Seychelles new-found affluence and growing economy has resulted in an increasing demand for private world class international pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. This situation has created fertile ground for growth in the private education industry. On Mahe it should be noted that all three privates schools are located in and around Victoria, closer to the North and East of the island. The Southern half of the island is currently underserved in that aspect. Another avenue not yet explored, but for which there is significant potential is the creation of international boarding schools.
Tourism, the main pillar of our economy, and our increasingly cosmopolitan population demands ever higher specialized services levels. Thus arises the need for more specialist hospitality schools, language centres as well as private ICT institutions. An untapped opportunity is that of educational tourism. Examples of educational tourism include
- School trips
- Maritime schools (sailing, super yachts …etc)
- Study abroad campuses (alternative university/college/institutional branch in Seychelles)
- Environmental/Maritime Boot Camps
Our geostrategic location coupled with our pristine environment and vast ocean, provides a natural habitat for specialized institutions/university campuses offering courses in fields such as Maritime, Environment, Renewable Energy, Blue Economy, Biotechnology, Bio-farming and Life Sciences amongst others. Similarly, specialized laboratory research centres are required to enable the country to make maximum use of many of its untapped environmental and marine resources.
Positioning Seychelles as an education investment hub will be ideal for both the country and investors alike. A long term view will prove that the higher the educational profile of the country, the more foreigners will be willing to travel to Seychelles for educational purposes. Furthermore, there will be a significant increase in the country’s skills capacity allowing for locals to invest or be employed in more lucrative/higher paid specialized service.